Bundesliga News

Van Gaal guarantees Freiburg's Flekken start against Germany

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

After a successful outing in his first international cap, Dutch interim trainer Louis van Gaal has guaranteed Freiburg net-minder Mark Flekken a start Tuesday against the German national team. 
Mark Flekken.
Mark Flekken. Photo: SC Freiburg
SC Freiburg keeper Mark Flekken--whom many Bundesliga fans will always associate with a certain embarrassing incident involving a water bottle and a conceded goal during his days at MSV Duisburg--has somewhat quietly put together one of the best seasons of any Bundesliga keeper. 

The 28-year-old SCF gloveman has kept 9 clean sheets this year for the Breisgauer. Among regular starters, he's conceded fewer goals (22) than any other backstop apart from Manuel Neuer. The Bayern keeper has let in 20 goals, but Flekken has started three more fixtures. 

Flekken's fine season enabled him to earn his first cap for the Dutch national team during the present international break. Dutch interim trainer Louis van Gaal immediately opted to start him in goal during a friendly against Denmark on Saturday night. 

Despite the fact that Flekken conceded four goals in the loss, van Gaal has guaranteed him a starting place against Germany on Tuesday. In the view of the current national team trainer, Flekken was really only partially at fault for the first goal.

Moreover, van Gaal considered Flekken's passing ability a significant advantage when it comes to the build-up game.

"Edwin van der Saar was like that too," van Gaal remarked whilst comparing Flekken to a Dutch goalkeeping legend, "I think it's a plus that he can open up the game like that." 

"He will play again," van Gaal stated bluntly, "I'm consciously making that decision so that he can show his stuff against Germany." 

Flekken starts in the Dutch goal ahead of Norwich City veteran Tim Krul, who himself has 15 caps. 

The Freiburg net-minder will possibly get a chance to play against club teammates Nico Schlotterbeck and Christian Günter.

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